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ADT: When Every Minute Counts

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ADT: When Every Minute Counts

Published 1958

How ADT alarm systems secure property, with elaborate coverage of alarm and communications technology in the analog era.

Run time 20:51
Producer Fairbanks (Jerry) Productions
Sponsor American District Telegraph Company
Audio/Visual Sd, C


not all logged
VS fire engines leaving firehouse; people fighting fires
Pan over fire hazards in warehouse, flames flaring up in cardboard box waste on floor
Same fire; MS of flames flaring up
VS exterior night shots of large building fires
CU sprinkler shooting off
CU hands turning large valve wheel
CU hands turning another, smaller valve wheel
Exterior night shot of warehouse building, unattended
GS ADT central station alarm facility
CU red light flashes; operators read signal on paper tape; check codes in signal book and notify Fire Department
CU paper tape being printed off machine
CU feet and shoes running across frame
CU hands turning large, red sprinkler valve wheel
Aero fire alert system
Teletherm system
VS men working in foundry
CU camera moves towards vent in wall (good)
CU hand pulling private fire alarm set into marble wall
CU hands maintaining fire alarm boxes; complicated analog machinery
MS night watchman (elderly Caucasian) walking through dark factory, shining flashlight around him (good); he yawns; he stretches, leans down to pick up comic book off floor
MCU night watchman retrained, and running drill press, smiling
VS alarm going off at ADT central station (natural sound); Klaxon horn sounding in background
Pan over windows of deserted factory/warehouse at night; criminal in trenchcoat breaks window and climbs in (GOOD)
CU door with gold lettering: ÒChief of PoliceÓ slow pan into door
Night Ext. Man with flashlight prowling around fenced yard at night
CU he starts to cut fence with wire cutters
CU alarm board and red light flashing at ADT central station; operators verify signal and call police
CU police dispatcher hangs up phone; dispatches 459 silent call over microphone
CU/LS police in squad car hear call; start car and drive off
CU armed ADT guard in red car hears call; starts off
CU headlights of police car and ADT car driving to scene (night exts.)
Animated drawing showing path of burglar into factory complex; shows him breaking beam of light and sending signal
ADT dispatchers receiving alarm call
More animated drawings showing vulnerabilities of buildings Ð skylights, windows, etc.; small figure trying to break in
VS police car driving; police officers bursting out of car with flashlights and guns (exterior night)
Another animated drawing showing cutaway inside building; burglar trips ultrasonic alarm system
Another animated drawing of safecracker
MS safe (surrounded by ultrasonic field)
VS other safes protected
GS safe deposit vault
CU ÒProtected by ADTÓ sign

Burglar alarms Security Crime Law enforcement Property protection American District Telegraph Company
Danger Lurks


Reviewer: Ironsman - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 12, 2016
Subject: Technical details
Very interesting to see ADT 55 years ago. Some things about alarms haven't changed much (the sprinkler water flow alarm system is fundamentally the same) and some technology is far better in regard to heat and smoke detectors and central station alarm reporting. I have seen those small heat detectors still in buildings in recent years, and switched out quite a few for new detection equipment ten years ago.

The fire station in the beginning is (at least now) known as L.A. County Fire Station 8. Because of its West Hollywood location and "typical" elements like brass fire poles, it has been a popular location to represent a fire station on TV and in movies. It made a few appearances in the TV series EMERGENCY!, first as "Station 10" in the pilot and in some later episodes as Station 8 when showing multi-house responses. Universal seemed to like the station a lot for stock footage and original action in their productions.

Love the vintage American LaFrance rigs!
Reviewer: jrf29 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 20, 2008
Subject: Interesting Film
An interesting film, especially if you are interested in technical details of fire and security protection 50 years ago.

The actor who plays Chief Green also plays Leonard Mercer, a real estate developer for a manufacturing company, in Road to Better Living, 1959
Reviewer: caholla - favorite - September 15, 2006
Subject: Zzzzzzzz
Someone wake me up when this one is over. Move along people...nothing to see here. Make every minute count by not wasting it on this film!
Reviewer: qazsd - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 26, 2006
Subject: ADT
that was good so you should see it ADT is still around now. now we have a better alarm like one that you tipe on but you have to get out in 5 seconds and it will start wating for fire or burgualy
Reviewer: Jah Gussi - favorite - February 27, 2005
Subject: Every Minute
Start counting
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 5, 2003
Subject: ADT: When Every Minute Counts
A fire chief and a police chief do their level best to convince us that we should all protect our businesses with ADT fire and burglar alarm systems, and they do a pretty good job of it, too, addressing all of our possible objections through the voice of the narrator. Since this is a well-made film, it ends up not as campy as it sounds, though. Police and fire department buffs should enjoy the film, though. Note: The film is sanitized by Modern Science for your protection.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favorite - December 16, 2002
Subject: ADT - A Dull Time?
A somewhat boring overview of ADT's security features. Film is very repetitive, fire breaks out, ADT catches it. Burglar breaks in, ADT catches it. Film does have it's moments though, with the introduction of Chief Walker, who is first shown scribbling furiously, and Chief Anderson. Who ARE these people? They look like actors to me. Also fascinating to see the (now) somewhat ancient crimefighting ADT headquarters, with it's ticker machines. Oh, and don't forget the quote used in the film... "When A fire starts, organized society, that is you the taxpayer, throw in their Sunday Punch, and it's a pretty good punch". I have no idea what it means either.
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